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The Determinants of Music Piracy in a Sample of College Students

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  • Bellemare, Marc F.
  • Holmberg, Andrew M.

Abstract

Why do some individuals pirate digital music while others pay for it? Using data on a sample of undergraduate students, we study the determinants of music piracy by looking at whether a respondent’s last song was obtained illegally or not. In doing so, we incorporate (i) the individual-specific transactions costs that constitute the effective price of illegal music; and (ii) individual willingness to pay (WTP) for digital music, which we elicit using a simple field experiment and which we use to control for the unobserved heterogeneity of preferences between respondents. Our empirical results indicate that a respondent’s subjective probability of facing a lawsuit and her degree of morality both have a negative impact on the likelihood that her last song was obtained illegally. These results are robust whether WTP is estimated parametrically or nonparametrically. We conclude by discussing the practical implications of our findings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 23641.

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Date of creation: 03 Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23641

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Keywords: Music Piracy; Transactions Costs; Subjective Expectations;

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References

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  1. Trudy Ann Cameron & Michelle D. James, 1986. "Efficient Estimation Methods for "Closed-Ended" Contingent Valuation Surveys," UCLA Economics Working Papers 404, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Bellemare, Marc F., 2012. "As You Sow, So Shall You Reap: The Welfare Impacts of Contract Farming," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1418-1434.
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Cited by:
  1. Joel Waldfogel, 2012. "Music Piracy and Its Effects on Demand, Supply, and Welfare," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 12, pages 91-109 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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